Former Bulldogs player, coach Mike Bobo joins Georgia football staff

Former Georgia quarterback and later offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. BRANT SANDERLIN / AJC file

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Former Georgia quarterback and later offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. BRANT SANDERLIN / AJC file

ATHENS – The gang’s back together.

Mike Bobo, who played and coached for Georgia for many years, has returned to work for his alma mater again. This time he will be helping out his best friend and former teammate Kirby Smart as an offensive analyst as a member of the support staff. UGA confirmed Bobo’s hiring late Friday afternoon.

Along with current co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, Bobo’s addition represents a reunion of friends and 1990s Georgia teammates. All three were members of the 1994 Bulldogs.

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“I’m just tickled to death,” said former Georgia football coach Ray Goff, who signed all three scholarships. “I really like all those guys, and it’s really good to have Mike back. They were good young men then, and they’re really good men now.”

Bobo followed back to Georgia the route established by Muschamp a year ago.

Bobo has been a head coach, interim head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in a 23-year coaching career that began as a graduate assistant for Jim Donnan at Georgia in 1999. But after he was fired as offensive coordinator at Auburn at the end of this past season, Bobo found himself out of work.

Meanwhile, Bobo’s oldest son, Drew Bobo, signed with Georgia as an offensive lineman in December. When that happened, Bobo rejoining in some capacity the football program with which he has had a 21-year association was a foregone conclusion.

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“Maybe I should have hired them as coaches rather than playing them as players,” Goff said. “They’re all sons of coaches. And Kirby and Mike have always been very close. Their fathers actually coached together. And so you always had a pretty good idea Mike was coming back.”

Quite similarly, after Muschamp was fired as South Carolina’s head coach in November 2020, his son, Jackson Muschamp, enrolled at Georgia as a preferred walk-on quarterback. And before Muschamp had even finalized his $12.1 million buyout with the Gamecocks, he was showing up at Georgia’s football complex every day, meeting with Smart and other UGA coaches and discussing football strategy and concepts.

That has worked out well for Muschamp, who officially was hired as a defensive analyst in February of last year. Since then, he was elevated to defensive assistant coach and special-teams coordinator and last month he was named co-defensive coordinator. Initially hired for a salary of $300,000 salary, a substantial raise and contract extension for Muschamp is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

As for Bobo, he, too, is still getting paid by his former employer. He still has two years remaining on his Auburn contract that guarantees him $1.3 million annually.

Once a fixture in Athens, Bobo and his family have moved around a lot the last several years. He left Georgia, where he was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Mark Richt, to become head coach position at Colorado State. The Rams went 28-35 in five seasons under Bobo’s guidance and he was fired after a 4-8 season in 2019.

Bobo went to work for Muschamp as South Carolina’s offensive coordinator and assistant head coach in 2020 and took over as interim head coach when Muschamp was fired with three games remaining in the season. The Gamecocks went 0-3 in those games, so Bobo comes to Athens with a 28-38 career record as a head coach.

Bobo’s best work has come as Georgia’s offensive coordinator and play-caller. The Bulldogs averaged a school-record 41.3 points per game in 2014 and 484.15 yards per game in 2013 with Bobo calling the shots from the coaches’ booth.

Those records came with Bryan McClendon as a Georgia offensive assistant from 2009-15. Working for the Bulldogs first as running backs coach and then as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, McClendon recently joined the staff of former Oregon coach Mario Cristobal at Miami. McClendon, who also is a UGA letterman, is wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator for the Hurricanes. Georgia currently is looking for a wide receivers coach.

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